Racial Differences in Obese Youth's Perception of Health Care and Weight Loss
Within the United States, minority youth are at greater risk of becoming overweight/obese and are less likely to receive preventive health care. The authors examined several domains of preventive health care perceptions among persistently overweight/obese white and black adolescents. A total of 55 youth (29 white, 26 black) who had previously sought weight management treatment participated in a follow-up study 4 years later (M (years) = 4.2 ± 0.8). All participants remained overweight (5% at the 85th- 94th BMI percentiles) or obese (95% ≥ 95th BMI percentile), with no significant difference in weight by race. Relative to whites, blacks perceived greater physician concern about and counseling regarding weight (P (concern) < .01; P (counsel) < .01), eating habits(P (concern) < .001; P (counsel) < .01), and physical activity (P (concern) < .001; P (counsel) < .05). Although whites reported knowing more weight-related comorbidities than blacks, there were no group differences in number of weight loss methods attempted (M (methods) = 7.5 ± 2.7). Overall, there were no group differences in perceptions of risk. Physicians may be appropriately focusing efforts on educating black youth, but knowledge and behavior gaps persist.
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